Project Description

Lucia’s Little Houses > House #11

Austerity

A good choice for a house on the edge of a forest or in a forest, where tall trees will be its companion. Lots of interior drama with an open three story space with balconies slung across up high.

 

We designed this house for a wonderful Yankee lady who wanted a no-nonsense house to move into after years of living in a wonderful but bothersome Victorian house nearby.

Our client wanted to be able to have some live-in help at some time in the future – hence the small second bedroom downstairs, and useful as a study in the near term. Also, doors to the bath and bedroom are big enough for handicapped access.

There are two bedrooms and a bath upstairs, but on a tight budget a door can be put at the bottom of the stairs and the entire second floor left as an unfinished attic. Our client wanted a house where she could live comfortably and modestly on one floor, but have space for grandchildren upstairs. That fit in with my notions that in New England most single story buildings with simple plans are not very convincing.

This house was situated on a slight hill that looked south over the main road to the water a long way off. All of her living space was on the south side, centering around a kind of greenhouse-bay that extends the living space and gives this little house a surprising sense of space inside. It also helps this house to be very easy to heat.

You approach this house by driving around to the back—if you are the owner you drive right into your garage and enter through the kitchen. Everybody else comes in under a small porch, through a small airlock entry with an inner door of glass so it doesn’t feel like a cell. Farther inside is a sort of buffer zone created by stairs on the left, an alcove on the right leading to the first floor bedrooms and bath, and some built-in bookcases in front and to the left. This buffer space is visually part of the living space, but defined enough that the living room is still a visually distinct destination.

The living room is filled with sun all day long in the winter. Under part of the glazed roof is a long window seat (or it could be a plant bench) and down in the southeastern corner is an eating area that can get much bigger with guests.

There is a woodstove (no energy-eating fireplace for this lady!) and chimney as a sort of pivot point. A very efficient galley kitchen with lots of storage and a laundry beyond is on your way back to the garage.

If you wanted a more open plan, you could delete the bookcase peninsula and make the west wall of the kitchen a low wall to open everything up. Our client didn’t want to do this because she was of a generation that liked a more separate kitchen, and of course you give up a lot of storage.

In working on this house for Lucia’s Little Houses I was constantly tempted to update this plan and make it more open. I didn’t because then it would have lost the wonderful frugality and practicality that its original client demanded. Be careful changing this one.

Working drawings provide you with the architectural documentation you (or your builder) need to build this house. Working drawing sets vary for each of the houses. Click here to order.

House Details
Heated square feet. . . . . . . . 1,477
Adjusted sq. ft. . . . . . . . .1,689
4 – Bedrooms
2 – Bathrooms
Full basement foundation

Dimensions
Foot Print 1,539 sq. ft.
View Dimension 45’
Side Dimension 44’
Height 22’-6”

Summary
1st Floor 947 sq. ft.
2nd Floor 530 sq. ft.

1st Floor
Living 13’ x 15’
Dining 8’ x 10’
Kitchen 8’ x 10’
Bedroom–1 10’ x 11’
Bedroom–2 12’ x 8’
Bath–1 8’ x 5’

2nd Floor
Bedroom–3 11’ x 12’
Bedroom–4 11’ x 12’
Bath–2 8’ x 7’

Working Drawings
• Fndtn. & 1st flr. Plans
• 1st & 2nd flr. Framing Plans
• 2nd flr. & Roof Plans
• Roof Framing Plan
• Section “A” / Details
• Section “B” / Details
• Elevations
• Int. Elevations, Schedules
• Electrical Plans